PE0277. THE BING GIRLS ARE THERE (Clifford Grey & Nat D. Ayer), recorded 1917, w. John Ansell Cond. Alhambra Theatre Enmsemble; Nat D. Ayer, Violet Loraine & Joseph Coyne; Extras by Eric Courtland, Walter Jeffries, Wilkie Bard & De Groot and his Piccadilly Orch. (England) Palaeophonics 136, w.Elaborate ‘The Play’ 16pp. Brochure replete with numerous photos of the Alhambra Theatre 1917 production & biographies. Excellently transferred from the legendary Acoustic 78rpm HMV rarities.
"THE BING BOYS ARE HERE first opened on 19 April, 1916 starring George Robey and Violet Lorraine, famous for their introduction of the song ‘If You Were the Only Girl (in the World)’, and Alfred Lester (1894–1925). It was replaced, after 378 performances, on 24 February, 1917 by THE BING GIRLS ARE THERE, with a different cast. It changed once again on 16 February, 1918 to THE BING BOYS ON BROADWAY, with Robey returning to the cast. The total number of performances for all three reviews was well over 1,000, lasting beyond the Armistice in November 1918.
Joseph Coyne, sometimes billed as Joe Coyne, was an American-born singer and actor, known for his appearances in leading roles in Edwardian musical comedy in London. Coyne was born in New York and made his stage début there at Niblo's Garden when he was 16. He appeared for some years in vaudeville, as part of a double-act, and moved to the legitimate theatre, joining the Rose Lyall Dramatic Company.
In 1901, Coyne made his first appearance on the London stage, playing opposite Edna May in THE GIRL FROM UP THERE. After that engagement, he returned to the U.S. until 1906, when he made his second West End appearance. In 1907, he made a great success as Danilo in the original London production of THE MERRY WIDOW, which he followed with a succession of romantic leading roles including Conder in THE DOLLAR PRINCESS (1909), Tony in THE QUAKER GIRL (1910), Teddy in THE DANCING MISTRESS (1912) and Sandy in THE GIRL FROM UTAH (1913).
After the First World War, Coyne played Robert Street in GOING UP (1918), Jimmy Smith in NO NO NANETTE (1925) and T. Boggs John in QUEEN HIGH (1926). Among his leading ladies, THE TIMES listed Edna May, Gertie Millar, Lily Elsie, Constance Collier, Gertrude Lawrence and Binnie Hale.
Coyne's last appearance was in APRON STRINGS at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1931, in the role of Ezra Hunniwell. He settled in Virginia Water, near Windsor, where he died of pneumonia, aged 73.
Violet Loraine went on the stage as a chorus girl at the age of sixteen. Her rise to fame came in April 1916 at the Alhambra Theatre in the musical/revue THE BING BOYS ARE HERE. She was given the leading female part, Emma, opposite George Robey playing Lucius Bing. It became one of the most popular musicals of the World War I era. Her duet with Robey ‘If You Were the Only Girl (in the World)’ became a ‘signature song’ of the era and endured as a pop standard.”
- Zillah Dorset Akron
“A composer, pianist, and performer, before moving to England where his career really took off, Ayer wrote one enduring standard, ‘Oh, You Beautiful Doll’ (1911), with A. Seymour Brown, and collaborated with Brown on several other numbers such as ‘Moving Day In Jungle Town’ (1909) (apparently a reference to Theodore Roosevelt’s hunting trip to Africa) and ‘If You Talk In Your Sleep, Don’t Mention My Name’ (1911). He also contributed to Broadway musical comedies and revues such as MISS INNOCENCE (1908), THE NEWLYWEDS AND THEIR BABY (1909), THE ECHO (1910), A WINSOME WIDOW and THE WALL STREET GIRL (1912). Ayer’s first trip to England was as a member of the Ragtime Octet, at a time when American jazzy and ragtime music - particularly that of Irving Berlin - was beginning to sweep Europe. In 1916 Ayer teamed with lyricist Clifford Grey to write the score for one of the West End’s biggest World War I hits, the revue THE BING BOYS ARE HERE, which starred George Robey and Violet Loraine, and contained the immortal ‘If You Were The Only Girl In The World’, along with ‘Another Little Drink Wouldn’t Do Us Any Harm’ and ‘The Kipling Walk’, among others. Ayer and Grey followed that with the music and lyrics for THE BING GIRLS ARE THERE (1917, ‘Let The Great Big World Keep Turning’) and THE BING BOYS ON BROADWAY (1918), with its tender ballad, ‘First Love, Last Love, Best Love’, which was introduced by Robey and Clara Evelyn. As well as composing the music - and sometimes the lyrics - Ayer often appeared on stage himself, notably with Alice Delysia in the revue PELL-MELL (1916, Clifford Grey, Hugh E. Wright) and with Binnie Hale and Gertie Millar in the musical comedy HOUP-LA! (1916, Howard Talbot, Hugh E. Wright, Percy Greenbank). Among the many other London shows to which he contributed were HULLO, RAGTIME (1912, ‘You’re My Baby’ with A. Seymour Brown), 5064 GERARD (1915, ‘At The Foxtrot Ball’ Dave Comer, Irving Berlin, Henry Marshall, Stanley Murphy, et al.), YES, UNCLE! (1917, Grey), BABY BUNTING (1919, Grey), SNAP (1922, Kenneth Duffield, Herman Hupfeld), ‘Shufflin’ Along’ (with Ralph Stanley), THE SMITH FAMILY (1922) and STOP-GO! (1935, Edgar Blatt).”
“A gentleman farmer with a love of Edwardian and early Twentieth Century music has created a home industry of preserving early Musical and Revue scores as recorded on 78 and cylinder, the latter of which he is certainly a specialist. It is an impressive list of shows that Dominic Combe has digitalised and issued on Compact Disc. Not only is it the recordings but the lovingly created books that attach.
Early theatre recordings abound in Great Britain, more so than in the United States where it took them some time to start recording original cast material. And so, many early scores are available to be heard. But what Dominic discovered when he started assembling these scores was that often latter day British 78 and cylinder record collectors turned their noses up on recordings of dance music or covers and ‘best of’ or ‘gems’ making them hard to find. And, it is those recordings which can often contain songs not otherwise recorded. He has built strong connections with other collectors willing to lend material to make each issue as complete as possible.
Modern equipment and an aptitude for perfection have helped Dominic ‘clean up’ old 78 and cylinder records to deliver a sound quality that can be stunning. The booklets are produced with as much care by using original theatre programmes or magazines such as PLAY PICTORIAL and MUSIC FOR ALL so that the listener can get a good idea of how the show looked as well as to see the unique art work used to advertise the show back then.
Dominic has issued over fifty of these gems and still has titles either being completed or awaiting to be started on. The label is called PALAEOPHONICS.”
- y phayward, OVERTURES: The Bunnet-Muir Musical Theatre Archive Trust, 10 July, 2017